On Sunday 16th August 2009 Louis Carter, James Fullarton and Simon Annis were on a patrol with their company near Sangin in Helmand province, Afghanistan. James Fullarton was leading the company when he was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast. Simon Annis and Louis Carter immediately went to his aid and were themselves caught in an IED blast. All three soldiers tragically died.
Louis Carter was a Fusilier serving with 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Fusilier Louis Carter was born in Nuneaton in 1990. He joined the Army in January 2007, and on successful completion of AFC Harrogate and his infantry training at ITC Catterick, was posted to the Second Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in April 2009. He was always eager and proud to be a Fusilier and Infantryman.
On arrival in Battalion, Fusilier Carter was immediately sent out to join 3 Platoon, A Company, attached to the 2 RIFLES Battle Group serving in Sangin, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Despite the daunting task of deploying straight to a war zone Fusilier Carter adapted himself well to life on operations and very quickly became a respected and popular member of 2 Section, 3 Platoon. A keen footballer, rugby player and cricketer he did not have time to establish himself in any of the Battalion teams. His football form on Op HERRICK 10 suggests he was not far off the mark. He was a keen Coventry City supporter and whenever possible go and watch his beloved team.
Fusilier Carterís life was tragically cut short when he was killed whilst extracting his section commander whilst on patrol on the morning of 16 August 2009. It is a testament to this young manís character that in the face of great danger he died trying to save his fallen commander. A young life and fledgling career cut short due to his selfless act in trying to save his friends.
The family of Fusilier Carter said:
"Louis Carter was a loving and caring son to Mick and Denise Carter, and a great older brother to Sam, and younger brother to Lee.
"Louisís childhood dream and ambition was always to join the Army and ultimately serve his country. His dream was fulfilled but tragically cut short.
"Louis had many, many friends and relatives and was loved by all. He was also very aware of our love for him. We are all so proud of him.
"Louis will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He will live in our hearts forever."
His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Calder, CO 2 RRF, said:
"Fusilier Louis Carter gave his young life just as he was embarking on his career with the Fusiliers. Thrown into to the thick of it right from the start he quickly became a key member of his platoon. He sacrificed his life attempting to save his section commander. This act of selfless commitment from one so young should be a shining example to the nation. His family have suffered a great loss and the heartfelt condolences of all Fusiliers in Afghanistan go to his family at this tragic time."
Lieutenant Colonel Rob Thomson MBE, CO 2 RIFLES Battlegroup, said:
"One of the youngest men in 2 RIFLES BG, he had been right in the mix from the off. Unostentatious, thorough, he was a meticulous Fusilier who everyone adored and trusted on their flank. He was a bright prospect, quick-witted and full of ideas. Like all his comrades he was thriving on the challenge of this place. There is a gaping hole in our lives left by his death but our first thoughts are for his parents and his younger brother. They are firmly in the centre of our prayers."
Major Jo Butterfill, OC A Company Group 2 RRF, said:
"Fusilier Carter had not long been with A Company, but had already made a considerable impression. Slotting straight into an experienced and battle-hardened Platoon, his obvious soldiering ability and concern for others quickly made him a trusted member of the team. A quiet, considered character, his pride in being a Fusilier and deployed on operations was nonetheless there for all to see. He showed stacks of promise for the future and his death is a monumental loss to the Company. Our thoughts are with his loving family. We will remember him."
Lieutenant Alan Williamson, Platoon Commander, Three Platoon A Company 2RRF, Attached 2 RIFLES, said:
"Fusilier Carter was one of my most junior soldiers but you would have never known this after meeting him. He was a quietly confident young soldier who faced the daunting task of Operations in Afghanistan head on. He was always there to help out his friends whether it be carrying extra kit or just providing them with a comforting word. It will come as no surprise to those who knew him that he was killed whilst helping to CASEVAC his Section Commander. With a calm head and real courage he jumped onto the front of the stretcher with no thought for his own safety."
"Although he was only with the Platoon for a short period of time, Fusilier Carter has touched the hearts of all who knew him. He can be best described as a Ďgenuinely nice bloke,'nobody ever had a bad word to say about him. I have no doubt in my mind that Fusilier Carter would have had a long and successful career ahead of him; he was already ahead of the curve. I will never forget this bright and personable young soldier. My thoughts are now with his family who have lost a young son who died trying to save his friends. A true hero, rest in peace."
Fusilier Jake McDougal, 3 Platoon A Company, said:
"Fusilier Carter was a quiet, but bubbly character, who was always there for those that needed him. He was one of my closest friends, along with other members of the Platoon. He always enjoyed going out for a good pint or two, even though it was Worthingtons! Even though he was only a Fusilier for a short period of time, I know he loved being part of the family, which especially showed whilst he was in training. Its very hard to sum up a good comrade and especially a close friend. All I can say is RIP my friend and all our thoughts are with you and your family. Sleep tight mate and Iíll see you soon x."
Fusilier Kenny Cootes, 3 Platoon A Company, said:
"Fusilier Carter canít be summed up on a piece of paper, because he was a great lad, who always had time for everyone. He was the type of lad to always get on with the job he had been tasked with. He will leave a big hole in a lot of peopleís lives and will be missed, but never forgotten by all that knew him."
Fusilier James Burke, 3 Platoon A Company, said:
"I only knew him for the short time he spent with 3 Platoon. He joined us straight from training and made an impression straight away. He settled into 3 Platoon straight away and was beginning to become a valuable member of the platoon, always eating something but always with a smile on his face. Still find it hard to believe youíre gone mate, its been too short a friendship. Like Iíve said about everybody else, youíre gone, but always in our thoughts and minds."
Fusilier Sam Cotton, 3 Platoon A Company, said:
"Although I only knew Carter for a short period of time, we clicked almost instantly. With his bubbly personality and his chubby charm, how could you not become close friends with a character like that, particularly when you live a metre away from each other? He always had a smile on his face, even if he hated the job in hand. All I can say is, it was an honour to have met you friend and you will be in my thoughts until we meet again. Sleep well."
Fusilier John Jones, 3 Platoon A Company, said:
"Louis was the youngest member in our section, but for the short time I knew him, I can say he was always up for a laugh. He never held anything against you and always had a smile on his face. He never once complained about getting ECM on his back and going out on patrol. It is such a shame he had to pass away in the way he did, doing a job he loved. I wish I could have got to know him a lot more, but still he was a good friend, let your soul rest mate. Specky."
Fusilier Matthew Hayward, B Company Group FSG, said:
"Fusilier Louis Carter was a best friend and a great infantryman. All he ever talked about was joining up and making a difference. He was always up for a laugh and always there to talk to if you needed him.
"My thoughts go out to his mum Denise and his younger brother Sam. Fallen but never forgotten, rest in peace, your mate Matthew Hayward."
Fusilier Peter Jewkes, 9 Platoon C Company, said:
"A true mate, beyond mates. He loved his job and going home wonít feel the same without my friend. You will be deeply missed."
From all the men at Patrol Base Woqab:
"Fallen but not forgotten. Good memories of another great man and... once a Fusilier always a Fusilier."